In a move to strengthen and support the Hawaiian Islands' protection against invasive species, the state House Finance and Senate Ways and Means Committees approved funding for 29 current agricultural inspector positions using the state general fund.
Using the general fund rather than a special fund, money will be freed to support invasive species eradication and prevention efforts. Currently, some positions are being funded by Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Commission money, and others by the Pest Inspection, Quarantine and Eradication Special Fund. Monies in both of these funds have been recently depleted or are scheduled to be discontinued within the year. If the new state budget passes congress and is signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, these agricultural inspection positions will be paid for through the general fund, consolidating and ensuring resources to maintain the current number of agricultural inspectors.